Port Conway Lane, the remarkable 13-year-old gelding who has won 50 races in his career, was claimed yesterday after finishing second in the second race at Laurel. Trainer Marvin Kuhn paid the claiming price of $5,000 for new owner L. McLean Shepherd of Harwood, Md.
Port Conway Lane won his 50th race in 227 last week at Laurel. The $1,210 for second yesterday gave him career earnings of $421,691.
Kuhn said, "I didn't claim him for the publicity. When a horse like him keeps winning races, beating your horses, you take them. I claimed him to win races."
King Leatherbury, former trainer of Port Conway Lane, said, "He is a sound horse with much substance to him. He's special.
"The record shows that Port Conway Lane has changed ownership 13 times in his career. Most of those changes were because I would claim him back when someone took him. The last time I took him was specifically to win the 50th race with him."
Kuhn, who was the first to claim Port Conway Lane in the mid-70s, said, "He (Leatherbury) was running Port Conway Lane down my throat for $5,000. He is an old class horse (winner of five stakes) and if they're sound they can give a claiming race trainer fits."
Yesterday's placing brought Port Conway's seasonal earnings to $18,685. Jockey Bill Passmore said afterward, "His race today, despite being beaten by daylight, would have beaten most $5,000 horses. He is an absolute marvel."
The second race was won by Raise Charger, a New Jersey horse.